The Wisconsin program that helps residents with rental and utility bills will now include coverage of internet costs.
The Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or WERA, is funded by the federal government, and so far has received more than $322 million in funding, according to Gov. Tony Evers' Office on Wednesday.
Eligible applicants include state residents who meet the following, per the state:
- One or more people within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic;
- One or more individuals within the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- A household income at or below 80 percent of county median income.
“The past year and a half has underscored the fact that access to affordable high-speed internet is a necessity to how we live, learn, and work,” Gov. Evers said in a statement. “This additional resource coupled with our recent announcement of Broadband Access funding across the state should go a long way toward helping folks remain connected, make ends meet, and bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.”